Light Rail In Victoria Before Vancouver?

Interesting news from Victoria, BC Transit is recommending LRT for Greater Victoria.

Though BC Transit doesn’t have much competence with modern LRT, the organization certainly has more experience than TransLink, with the historic LRT planning for the Broadway-Lougheed Rapid Transit project before the provincial NDP did their infamous flip-flopAi?? to SkyTrain.

Zwei also questions the $950 million price tag for LRT, as there are many examples of economy LRT being built in Europe.

Then there is TramTrain and the E&N; has BC Transit factored in TramTrain using the E&N’s tracks? I doubt it; I doubt that BC Transit’s planners have ever heard of TramTrain.

Wouldn’t it be delightful that Victoria was the first city in North America to build a true TramTrain service, combining economy operation and track sharing, draggingAi?? BC’s transit planning kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

B.C. Transit recommends light rail for Capital Region

Electric light-rail rapid transit is B.C. Transit’s recommended choice for the future of moving people between Victoria and the West Shore.

Construction of a fully built light-rail system would cost about $950 million, including the right-of-way, track and electrical systems, stations and vehicles.

Total cost for the life of the system, including capital and operating expenses,Ai??is estimated at $1.2 billion.

Depending on if and how the price tag can be shared between the municipalities, the province and the federal government, Greater Victoria residential property owners could be required to pay an additional $130 to $265 for the new system each year. They currently pay $92.50 for transit, though that will increase to $120.50Ai??starting May 15.

Business owners would face a sharper increase of between $1,300 and $2,650, depending on the funding formula. They currently pay $356 annually for transit, though that is also going to jump by $28.

Transit is currently covered by fares, the province, property taxes, fuel taxes and advertising. However, the transit company is not ruling out exploring other methods to offset project costs.

Transit officials say theAi??two other regional transit options that were considered – bus rapid transit and maintaining the status quo – would also be expensive. Bus rapid transit start-up costs are estimated at $520 million, and $250 million would be needed to maintain the current transit system.

A new bus rapid transit system would be cheaper in the short term, say transit officials, but anticipate it would be at capacity after 10 to 15 years and require replacement with light rail.

B.C. Transit’s recommendation, kept under tight wraps until Tuesday afternoon, is an important next step in bringing rapid transit to the traffic-burdened region. Last October key municipalities along the rapid-transit corridor endorsed the right-of-way route, including Victoria, Saanich, View Royal, Colwood and Langford.

There would be stations in downtown Victoria and at Uptown in Saanich. The electric trainAi??would run along a track next to the Trans-Canada Highway to the 6 Mile/Colwood interchange, along Island Highway in View Royal to Colwood, continue along Goldstream Avenue before reaching its final Station Avenue stop in Langford.

There is still a check list of things to do before B.C. Transit’s rapid transit business case is completed.

To solicit community feedback, the plan will be presented in detail during two public open houses May 4 and 5.

The light-rail transit plan isAi??expected to go before the B.C. Transit board of directors and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission in May. If approved, the business case would be submitted in June for the province’s consideration.

- more to come


5 Responses to “Light Rail In Victoria Before Vancouver?”
  1. Haveacow says:

    The question you should be asking is how come this works for Victoria and not Vancouver! Even at $950,000,000 that’s a considerable cost savings, especially since you are buying all the light rail vehicles as well as building a maintenance and storage yard (with extra capacity for future extensions) included in that price. Broadway’s Skytrain line may require extra cars but it certainly won’t include a new yard or maintenance facility for $3,000,000,000+.

  2. jim says:

    I thought they’ve torn up tracks recently to install recreational trails? Not that I don’t like the trails, they’re great. And my experience using transit in Victoria is way better then in metro vancouver. It would be nice to see.

    Zwei replies: The trails are adjacent to the line. I understand there is great pressure by the ‘cycle’ lobby to rip up the tracks and make bike trails.

  3. eric chris says:

    How the heck can s-train by TransLink not be good for Victoria and so good for Vancouver? “Planners” at TransLink have one purpose – divert as many buses to their s-trains, subways and b-lines as possible – to show everyone how marvelous they are.

    They are fragmenting routes (No. 9 trolleybus route on Broadway for example) and forcing riders to transfer to their lousy trunk lines. This concentrates riders along their trunk lines. It creates the illusion that lots of people are flocking to transit, when they really aren’t.

    In the meantime, most of the buses in Metro Vancouver putter about mostly empty and drivers continue to drive. It’s sickening. There is only one cure for the zombies at TransLink:


    For Immediate Release
    October 7, 2014 Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
    Province to seek input on transportation priorities

    VICTORIA – The Government of B.C. is developing “B.C. on the Move”, its new 10-year provincial transportation plan, and invites British Columbians to share their ideas as it prioritizes future improvements in our transportation network.

    For some, a priority may be improvements to rural roads for safer travel between communities. Others may favour expanded cycling networks in their area or improvements to a regional airport. This is an opportunity for all British Columbians to join in the conversation and let government know about their most pressing transportation needs.

    A Discussion Guide is now available to read online or download at‎/transportationplan. It includes an overview of B.C.’s transportation network, an outline of accomplishments and highlights of strategies moving forward.

    More information will be available online when public engagement opens on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The public can submit feedback online from Oct. 14 through to Dec. 12, 2014, at 4 p.m.

    The input gathered from this provincewide engagement will be considered along with technical information and input from key stakeholders. These stakeholder meetings started in early September, as Parliamentary Secretary Jordan Sturdy met with over 70 groups on Vancouver Island, including local governments and First Nations, to hear first-hand the transportation needs of Island communities.

    “B.C. on the Move”, the new 10-year transportation plan, will be ready in the new year and will set out a series of short, medium and longer-term priorities for government.

    These priorities will focus on growing the economy, moving goods and people safely and reliably, connecting and strengthening communities, and maximizing collaboration and investment with partners including First Nations, the federal government, local governments, and the private sector.

    B.C.’s most recent transportation plan, “Opening Up B.C.”, was developed in 2003. The primary goals of that plan have been accomplished. Since 2001, over $16 billion in transportation infrastructure has been invested to improve the quality of life for B.C. families and strengthen the provincial economy.


    Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone –

    “I look forward to hearing from British Columbians as we develop our new 10-year transportation plan. Through this engagement and our meetings with key stakeholders, we can build a new transportation plan that will benefit our province well into the future; one that reflects the transportation priorities of the people of B.C.”

    Learn More:

    To read the Discussion Guide, visit‎/transportationplan

  4. Thomas Cheney says:

    Where does the map come from?

    Zwei replies: I believe the map came from the times Colonist web site.

  5. Davey Downer says:

    Map is a fantasy transit map for anyone looking at this…

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